U.S. Olympic Team Trials Media Notes

Format: There will be nine weight classes contested each day. Each weight class is finished during one day. The 9:00 a.m. session is the Challenge Tournament, which determines the finalists in each weight. The 6:00 p.m. session is the Championship Series, which is a best-of-three series between the top two athletes and determines the Olympic Trials champion at that weight class. Here are the weights contested each day, with FS (men’s freestyle), GR (Greco-Roman) and W (women’s freestyle).

Saturday, April 21 – FS (60, 74, 96 kg), GR (55, 66, 84, 120 kg), W (55, 72 kg)

Sunday, April 22 – FS (55, 66, 84, 120 kg), GR (60, 74, 96 kg), W (48, 63 kg)

Weight class conversions – Internationally, wrestling weights are in kilograms. We uses approximate conversions for the seven weight classes in men’s wrestling (both freestyle and Greco-Roman) and the four in women’s freestyle wrestling:

Men: 55 kg (121 lbs.). 60 kg (132 lbs.), 66 kg (145.5 lbs), 74 kg (163 lbs.), 84 kg (185 lbs.), 96 kg (211.5 lbs.), 120 kg (264.5 lbs.)

Women: 48 kg (105.5 lbs.), 55 kg (121 lbs.), 63 kg (138.75 lbs.), 72 kg (158.5 lbs.)

Direct link to live results on the internet: TrackWrestling.com will be the location where results are instantly posted online from this event. You can go to the homepage, and enter the U.S. Olympic Team Trials event there. However, there is also a direct link to the results for this competition:


Olympic Trials Qualification and Procedures: Please be aware that the qualifying procedures for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, as well as some of the procedures for determining the U.S. Olympic Team members, differs for each of the three Olympic styles. The Olympic Selection Procedures in each style are posted on TheMat.com at the following URL:


Athletes already qualified for the best-of-three Championship Series – Based upon specific achievements spelled out the Olympic Trials Procedures, some athletes have already earned a spot in the best-of-three Championships Series. The athletes who get to “sit out” of the Challenge Tournament are:

Men’s freestyle finalists: Jordan Burroughs (74 kg), Jake Varner (96 kg)

Women’s freestyle finalists: Clarissa Chun (48 kg), Helen Maroulis (55 kg), Elena Pirozhkova (63 kg), Ali Bernard (72 kg)

Greco-Roman finalists: Dremiel Byers (120 kg), Justin Lester (only if he enters 74 kg)

Note: Lester won the 2012 U.S. Open at 74 kg, but is expected to enter at 66 kg. If he goes 66 kg, he must compete in the Challenge Tournament.

Challenge Tournament procedures: In the weight classes above, where an athlete sits out to the finals series, the Challenge Tournament is completed, with one athlete winning the challenge tournament finals and advancing to the evening session against the person sitting out. In all of the other weight classes, the two winners of the semifinals of the Challenge Tournament do not wrestle in the morning session. They both advance to the best-of-three Championship Series in the evening.

Weight Classes Not Qualified for Olympics – To compete in the Olympic Games in wrestling, a nation must go to qualifying events to earn a spot in each weight class at the Olympics. The Olympic field is very limited, with only about 20 men and 16 women in every weight class in London. So far, the USA has qualified to compete in London at 16 of the 18 weight classes in wrestling. The weights which are not yet qualified are 60 kg in men’s freestyle and 96 kg in Greco-Roman. Therefore, the results from the Olympic Team Trials in those weights do not determine a U.S. Olympian. Should the United States qualify these weight classes, a “Secondary Olympic Trials” will be held at a later date to determine the U.S. representative at those weights.

World Olympic Qualifying Events coming up: Only athletes whose nation have not yet qualified for the Olympics at a specific weight class can enter the last two World Olympic Qualifying Events. The next qualifier is in Taiyuan, China, April 27-29. The top three placewinners in China in each weight class will qualify their nation to compete at the Olympic Games. The final qualifier is in Helsinki, Finland, May 4-6. The top two placewinners in the qualifier in Finland qualify their nation to compete in the Olympic Games.

Athletes held out of Trials for Olympic Qualifying: USA Wrestling has held three athletes out of the Olympic Trials to prepare for the World Olympic Qualifying Events: At 60 kg in men’s freestyle, Reece Humphrey and Shawn Bunch have been held out. At 96 kg in Greco-Roman, Justin Ruiz has been held out. Should the USA qualify these weights for London, these athletes, plus the Olympic Trials champion (and if necessary, an athlete receiving a medical petition) will compete in the “Secondary Olympic Trials” at their weight. The date and location of these events, if necessary, have not yet been determined.

Men’s Freestyle Qualification could be extended at 74 kg and 96 kg: Based upon the Olympic Team Selection procedures in men’s freestyle, there is a possibility that there may be an additional step to determine the Olympian. Because Jordan Burroughs (74 kg) and Jake Varner (96 kg) won a medal at the 2011 World Championships, if they lose in the Championship Series in the Olympic Trials, the spot is not yet determined. In that case, the Olympic Trials champion and the World medalist will compete in a tournament overseas at a later date. The procedures indicate: The highest medaling athlete will be USA Wrestling’s designee to the Olympic Team. If both athletes earn a bronze medal or both athletes medal and the only loss for each is from the same athlete or neither athlete earns a medal then the winner of the 2012 Olympic Team Trials will be USA Wrestling’s designee to the Olympic Team.

NBC Sports Channel Trials coverage: NBC Sports Network will present six hours of next-day coverage of the Olympic Wrestling Trials. The first day of Olympic Trials wrestling action will be aired on Sunday, April 22 from 4-7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Final day action will be aired on Monday, April 23 from 3-6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Andrew Catalon and Jeff Blatnick will call the action.

NBCOlympics.com Trials webcast: USA Wrestling will partner with NBCOlympics.com to provide a live webcast of all four mats of the Challenge Tournament of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday April 21 and Sunday, April 22 beginning at 9 a.m. CT each day.

Interesting things to know going into this event:

Two-time Olympic Champions for the USA: George Mehnert (1904, 1908), Bruce Baumgartner (1984, 1992) and John Smith (1988, 1992).

Note: Henry Cejudo (FS 55kg) and Rulon Gardner (GR 120kg) are seeking a second Olympic title.

Four-time U.S. Olympians in wrestling: Mark Fuller (GR – 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992), Bruce Baumgartner (FS – 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996)

Note: Dennis Hall (GR 60kg), an Olympian in 1992, 1996 and 2004 is seeking a fourth Olympic berth.

Two-time U.S. Olympians in women’s wrestling: There are none. Women’s wrestling was contested in the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Eight different women have competed for the USA.

Note: Clarissa Chun (48 kg) and Ali Bernard (72 kg) are seeking a second Olympic berth.

Attendance record for Olympic Wrestling Trials: Based upon 12,000 tickets already sold for each day at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling here in Iowa City, a single-session record has already been established for this event. The previous record was set in the final session at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Dallas, Texas, with 9,434 tickets sold.

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